The League of Women Voters of Florida is gravely disappointed by Governor Rick Scott’s decision to approve HB 1355, a controversial elections bill that the League considers an assault on voters.
By signing HB 1355, the governor indicated his support for burdensome and unnecessary regulations that will make it more difficult for eligible voters to get registered and cast a ballot in the state of Florida.
Our League president Deirdre Macnab said that Gov. Scott is taking Florida back in time today, with his approval of cumbersome regulations that will make it harder for eligible Floridians to be engaged and active in their government. She said this is extremely disappointing in a state like Florida, which had made many improvements to its electoral system in recent years.
Now that the bill has been approved by the governor, HB 1355 will move to the U.S. Department of Justice for review. The federal Voting Rights Act requires Florida to submit all laws that affect voting rights to the Department of Justice before they can be enforced statewide.
The League believes that HB 1355 contains many provisions that will suppress the registration of eligible voters, and will have a disproportionate impact on African-American and Hispanic voters who, studies show, are twice as likely to register to vote via third party voter registration groups than non-minority voters.
The League is very concerned that parts of this law are being implemented as soon as this week. We disagree with the state’s decision to rush to enforce this complex law before the Department of Justice reviews it and before any rule-making has begun.
Jessica Lowe-Minor, LWVF Executive Director